The UK’s biggest celebration of urban walking comes to Bristol in May, with more than 150 community events and walks taking place. Here are just a few you might want to try…
Now in its sixth year, this month-long festival brings together the best walks the city has to offer, with most events free and suitable for all ages and abilities.
Wednesday 2 May, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Join local graffiti artist Rob Wheeler on a walking tour of some of the key sites in Bristol’s world-famous street art scene, past and present. Gain an insight into the development of the scene, some of the key players and events, and the politics and controversies surrounding the art form. Rob will share his knowledge and passion, as well as getting you thinking, asking questions and looking to the future. The walk is at a gentle pace and suitable for participants of all levels of fitness.
Cost: Pay what you think
Sunday 6 May, 9.45am – 12.45pm
Discover the wildlife and history of the Avon Gorge and Downs with this guided walk, organised in conjunction with Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge. From Seawalls, you’ll meander through the meadows, zip down the zigzag path, and wander along the majestic gorge, finally wending your way back up through the goat-browsed Gully to Seawalls. This is a challenging walk, so it’s vital that you wear suitable footwear for the steep and uneven territory. It’s only suitable for folks who can manage very steep slopes, steps and can comfortably walk three miles.
Thursday 10 May, 10am – 11am
This walk, specifically designed for those over 55, will take in some of the best wildlife, historic boats and buildings Bristol has to offer. As part of the event, participants are encouraged to bring their own rocks or buy one on arrival for £1 to decorate. We’ll then be hiding them as we walk for others to find. Meet on Millennium Square by the planetarium (large mirror ball).
Thursday 10 May, 12pm – 1pm
Bristol Temple Quarter is one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects. This circular route will take in some of the area’s key redevelopment sites, present and future. Enjoy a stroll along the Harbourside and find out more about the changing face of this new city district. After the walk, participants are invited to have lunch or a coffee at Yurt Lush, where they will receive a 10% discount on all purchases. The walk is approximately two miles long and is mainly flat. It will start and finish outside Engine Shed on Station Approach.
Saturday 12 May, 11am – 1pm
Discover Brunel’s influence on Bristol docks in this accessible Harbourside walk. Starting and ending at Brunel’s SS Great Britain, you will hear about some of Brunel’s many projects in Bristol and get to know a little more about the engineering icon himself.
Tuesday 15 May, 10am – 12.30pm
Discover Bristol’s medieval history by walking its surviving ancient streets, encountering churches and forgotten ecclesiastical buildings along the way. Optional cathedral tour in the afternoon as well. The walk ends by Temple Church, off Victoria Street.
Thursday 17 May, 11.30am – 1pm
City centre food growing can be both beautiful and productive, and the 14 gardens you’ll visit on this unique food trail will illustrate just that. From urban allotments to mini orchards, you’ll learn all about community based food production happening in our city and hopefully feel inspired to start growing your own.
Tuesday 22 May, 11.30am – 12.30pm
Whether you’ve played cricket before or are completely new to the game, this walking cricket game at The Brightside Ground will allow you to give it a go in friendly and relaxed setting. The pace is gentle, so it’s suitable for all abilities. The event will include an hour of cricket fun, followed by a bite to eat and drinks in the pavilion.
Thursday 24 May, 10.30am – 12pm
Bristol is littered with statues, some famous and some with interesting or quirky stories. This guided walk will begin at the cathedral, before heading through to Broadmead, with frequent stops to discuss some of the city’s most fascinating statues along the way.
Thursday 31 May, 10.30am – 1pm
Love taking photos? This photo walk challenge will meet at Hartcliffe Roundhouse, before following a way-marked route that includes stunning views of the Dundry hills. Participants are invited to bring any photo taking devices they have with them and snap what they see, guided by different open-ended themes as they go. The route ends at Creative Workspace, where we’ll share our photos. You can also stay on for the afternoon to create collages using vintage photos of Withywood. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
Bristol Walk Fest takes place from 1 to 31 May 2018. See the full list of what’s happening and when.
Photo credit: Graft; Artwork: Jon5.